Carolyn Johnson said she got the idea to start an alpaca farm when she first saw one of the creatures at the Union Fair years ago.

She had worked for many years as a psychologist and her husband, Alton, had worked as a pipe fitter at Bath Iron Works. They moved onto a farm in Warren about 10 years ago and started their own alpaca farm in 2006.

“I just liked them,” said Johnson.

Evergreen Ridge Alpacas is a 16-acre farm off Route 1 in Warren. The couple began with eight alpacas and the herd has grown to 25 since then.

The owners of the business said the creatures are at once inquisitive and intelligent, but can be shy around strangers because they are vulnerable to predators in the wild. The Johnsons said alpacas are in the camel family.

In addition to barns and pastures on the property, they run a small shop selling the yarns made from the soft alpaca fleece and some clothing including hats and scarves that can be made with it. The yarn comes in a range of natural colors and contains no dyes.

Alton is a Rockland native and Carolyn came from Illinois originally. She worked as a psychologist in Miami years ago and later had a private practice. She has lived in the Midcoast since 1979.

Their only employee on the farm is Willie, the livestock guard dog. He has the run of the barn and pastures and has grown very protective of his alpaca friends.

For more information, call 207-273-3382.